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Old April 25th, 2007, 07:20 AM   #41
ssiguy2
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Vancouver has the largest trolley fleet in NA. Buses are definatly faster but trolleys are only used in the city itself not the suburbs. Due to this the trolleys are just as fast due to stops, like buses, are every couple of blocks.
It depends on the city and its applications. They are excellent for Vancouver because they have faster pickup than regular buses which is important in cities like Vancouver with many hills. They can climb those much faster and also much quieter as we know there are few things as loud or slow as a bus trying to go from a dead stop up a hill.
Their lower noise levels are a nice treat compared to diesels.
The benefits of having no emmisions is also of great benefit for our polluted cities and earth.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 08:39 AM   #42
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Beijing's trolley bus

The max speed does't matter, they all run in downtown area, it's unlikely they will ever run at their max speed, acceleration they are better than the CNG buses.but during evening I have seen them running pretty fast.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #43
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Thanks for all the replies. From what I'm getting, they are better for downtown and inner-city applications rather than suburban rapid transit. But being a techie geek, I know how time and technology go hand in hand. So even though currently they may not be suitable for suburban or rapid transit use, I could see in 10-20 years that changing. Especially seeing as the technology is being revisited and all.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 06:49 PM   #44
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^By the way, in Estonia, for example a bus(or a trolley) that carries standing passengers may not go faster than 60km/h for safety reasons.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 08:03 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
Thanks for all the replies. From what I'm getting, they are better for downtown and inner-city applications rather than suburban rapid transit. But being a techie geek, I know how time and technology go hand in hand. So even though currently they may not be suitable for suburban or rapid transit use, I could see in 10-20 years that changing. Especially seeing as the technology is being revisited and all.
Some of these buses can be powered by both overhead power and disel engine.

Seattle uses this dual-powered vehicle to run BRT. The buses run in electricity in downtown thru overhead power line and disel on highway. And I believe it happens in Shanghai and Beijing as well.

With hybrid buses available in the market now, I would think one day these ugly overhead cables will disappear in the future.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:15 AM   #46
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trolley wires

As I see it the main point of contention for trolley buses is the perception by some that their overhead wires are visually undesirable and that a street would be nicer without them. I disagree with this position. The visual pollution, as some call it, is subjective at best and car-centric NIMBYism at worst. Plant some street trees along the trolley bus corridors, actually plant them everywhere, and the aesthetic of a streets will improve. Trees and a higher street wall of buildings visually block a great deal of the overhead wire infrastructure. Also, it is worth re-imagining what the overhead wires really represent: quieter streets. Others have mentioned this already but it is worth reiterating.

While the visual aesthetic of overhead transit wires is subjective and up for debate, the fact that diesel buses are noisy and electric trolleys are virtually silent should not be. Trolley buses promote a more pedestrian-oriented street while diesel buses are noisy and a significant impediment to a vibrant high-street. Trolley buses are also less expensive to operate, have a longer life-span, and are now able to be offered in low-floor models that are fully accessible, which is a major plus for transit systems that are endeavouring to meet the needs of an aging population.

Here are some typical Vancouver streetscapes with overhead trolley wire infrastructure. (‘sure doesn’t ruin the view in my opinion)









(that's the tail end of an example of our old early-1980s New Flyer fleet)
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Old April 27th, 2007, 01:00 AM   #47
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Trolley buses

Vancouverite is correct that the wires are simply part of the streetscape. The electrically powered vehicle using hydro-produced grid power is definitely beneficial ecologically. One wonders if technology could be developed so that buses could use the overhead traction in the downtown or hilly sections (Simon Fraser University hill from Skytrain and Hastings Street comes to mind) and have a efficient capacitance driven system for more suburban uses. Couldn't a trolley bus electric charging system be developed in parallel with plug-in-hybrids so that no diesel engine would be needed.

At least the trolley bus industry is still alive in North America. Ten years ago it looked like it might be doomed. Pittsburgh and Cambridge, MA (Boston) have kept their systems, Vancouver with the second largest system in NA has replenished theirs. San Francisco has the largest system in North America, not Vancouver.

I hope that perhaps Montreal might consider trolley buses (80 footers/25 metres) instead of light rail. Montreal has inexpensive hydro-electricity, and
if they moved to trolley buses, technological developments as I mentioned above might occur, as well as lowering the cost of trolley buses. Smaller centres in northeast United States and Quebec and eastern Ontario could convert their diesel fleets to "able to travel off the grid" trolleybuses.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #48
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now that theyre talking about the wires above
as a 15year old,
i find it raelly interesting
especially standing at an intersection waiting for the light to turn
while seeing a trolly go by
and wondering how it crosses
without mentioning it
i wouldnt have realised it was every there
i wont feel it is downtown without those trolley wires
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Old April 27th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
Thanks for all the replies. From what I'm getting, they are better for downtown and inner-city applications rather than suburban rapid transit. But being a techie geek, I know how time and technology go hand in hand. So even though currently they may not be suitable for suburban or rapid transit use, I could see in 10-20 years that changing. Especially seeing as the technology is being revisited and all.
Apart from technology, local politics plays a large role. Just decide that these buses have priority over other transport, and make urban developers work out the details. As trams and buses travel street level, they are or should be the quickest means of transport.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricIsHim View Post
Some of these buses can be powered by both overhead power and disel engine.

Seattle uses this dual-powered vehicle to run BRT. The buses run in electricity in downtown thru overhead power line and disel on highway. And I believe it happens in Shanghai and Beijing as well.

With hybrid buses available in the market now, I would think one day these ugly overhead cables will disappear in the future.
Shanghai does not have dual-mode trolley-bus at all, it never had it and it will not have in the future. Beijing has a whole bunch of trolleys that can perform off wire operation, in fact among the 15 trolley-bus routes in Beijing, off wire operation is required on as many as 9 routes, however off wire operation is propeled by batteries that generate 120V of power, not by diesel generator.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #51
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Batteries have very limited power/range. The Vancouver trolleys have them as well, but going 10 km/h is not a good way to attract ridership. With a 120V battery, it would be luck to do 1 km/h, perhaps you mean generate 1200V or the likes...
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Old May 7th, 2007, 04:17 AM   #52
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Trolley bus travel off overhead catenary

A link http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...roviding_.html

showing both trams and the Translohr using battery packs to fun off of the grid for up to 500 m. If battery technology improved to allow 5 km off of grid operation, most bus lines in Vancouver and Edmonton could be converted to use existing overhead and get rid of diesels.

_________________________________________________________________

Saft Providing NiMH Batteries to Alstom and Lohr for Hybrid Tram Applications
6 December 2005
Translohrlaquilab
Translohr tram in L’Aquila, Italy

Saft has developed an integrated NiMH battery system to support a different twist on hybrid trams: trams that can switch the source of traction power between overhead catenaries and on-board batteries.

Trams—urban light rail vehicles—come in bi-current versions that are able to use the different current flow from city tram lines as well as electrified rail lines (e.g., 600/750 Volt DC and 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz AC) as well as diesel-hybrid versions that rely on diesel traction for operation on non-electrified tracks (such as in the suburbs).

But the city of Nice, France, which uses catenary wires on its new tramway system, wanted to keep its two historic town squares (Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi) clear of the overhead wires, and didn’t have sufficient need for a full diesel-electric system.

Alstom, the tram maker, thus needed an onboard traction battery capable of providing sufficient autonomous power for travel over those sections of track where the catenaries are not available—approximately 500 meters for each autonomous section. The system also had to be compact enough for installation in the vehicle roof.

Alstom placed a €2-million (US$2.4-million) order earlier this year with Saft for NiMH integrated traction battery systems for the CITADIS trams currently under construction for the city of Nice.

Now Lohr Industries is also interested in the Saft NiMH batteries for its Translohr rubber-wheeled tram systems in some Italian cities for the same reason: keeping medieval city centers clear of catenaries.

The 576V Saft NiMH battery system provides 80 kWh of continuous power. Each battery system incorporates an active cooling device and battery management control (BMC) for monitoring of temperature, voltage and charging conditions. The whole unit is supplied ready to plug and play in a custom built tray complete with power and communication capabilities and all necessary safety features.

In addition to the traction batteries, Saft is also supplying 24V on-board MATRICS MRX rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries to provide backup support for electrical systems such as doors and communications.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:02 AM   #53
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Most trolley buses here in Seattle top about 35 mph (56km/h)
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janis_LV View Post
Earlier trolleybusses had to slow down almost to full stop at every junction of wires and these were not only in crossings, but also where 2 lines joined or one line split in two. Riga has very extensive trolleybus route network and I am using trolleybus every day and I can only say buses are going faster, because they don't have the wires and no need to stop every 100 meters for one junction. Modern trolleybusses seem to have solved partially this problem, but I dont have confidence. For long hauls I would still prefer bus to trolleybus, although for the environment obviously trolleys are better
Yes, in Riga, like in Tallinn too the trolleys have to stop at "wire junctions" because when stopping and then powering again they create a powersurge which changes the track(wire). The problem will be solved by buying and changing those "wire junction mechanisms" so they work with a GPS device, or if with the less advanced, flick of button - i.e radiosignals.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 01:32 AM   #55
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Earlier trolleybusses had to slow down almost to full stop at every junction of wires
I would bet Vancouver's fleets must still slow!! I was fascinated (in the mid-90s) by how Frisco's fleets seemed to maintain speed at their overhead junctions.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #56
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The new ones don't slow down, but the old 80's Flyer ones do for obvious reasons.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch1le View Post
Yes, in Riga, like in Tallinn too the trolleys have to stop at "wire junctions" because when stopping and then powering again they create a powersurge which changes the track(wire). The problem will be solved by buying and changing those "wire junction mechanisms" so they work with a GPS device, or if with the less advanced, flick of button - i.e radiosignals.
Yes, but I have seen only one place in Tallinn where there is a newer generation wire junction mechanism, others are all old...
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #58
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/\ Oh, they are in the process of changing them
Didnt even know we already had one new up!
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 03:43 AM   #59
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this is - i hope - the old trolleybus from Warszawa/Warsaw - but i'm not sure. It could be Lublin as well.

This trolleybus was used previously in Opava, now it is in Lublin and it's waiting for a general reparation (it will be a historic vehicle).
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Old March 24th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #60
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MISC | Trolleybuses

This thread is dedicated to technical, economical, historical or any other issues related to this type of transport.
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